My lovely colleague Jan - who ordered the turquoise and purple pinny from me seen here - has asked me to make two pinnies for her 14 month year old granddaughter. She specifically asked for one of the two to be wipeable, which brings me to my latest sewing challenge...oilcloth!
Originally, I was quite apprehensive about sewing with oilcloth, but a bit of Googling has gone a long way to put my mind at ease. Although I'm still at the planning stage, I thought I'd share some of the information and tips 'veI found, for anyone else who may have had similar misconceptions. Of course if any of you are experienced oilcloth sewers, please do let me know if I've missed anything!
- What is commonly referred to as oilcloth nowadays is actually vinyl with a mesh cotton foundation, which apparently makes it easier to sew with.
- Oilcloth creases easily, but there are a few easy ways of getting the wrinkles out. You can leave it in a sunny area for a few hours...not so straightforward when you live in the UK! Alternatively, you can iron it on the wrong side on a low setting or gently heat it with a hair dryer.
- You'll need to use a size 16 / DENIM needle with a poly / cotton thread.
- Using a longer stitch will avoid leaving holes in the oilcloth, but the stitch needs to be shortened around corners or curves.
- Sewing machine tension needs to be set at 3 for two layers of oilcloth, but for thicker areas it may need to be adjusted to 4 or more.
- Sewing on the reverse side of the oilcloth will allow the presser foot to move smoothly. If you need to sew on the right side, you can place tissue paper between the presser foot and oilcloth, or cover the bottom of the presser foot with masking tape.
- Oilcloth doesn't fray so the edges can be left as they are. Alternatively, you can finish them off with pinking / decorative shears or with edging / bias binding. You also hem them like regular fabric too.
I hope you find this helpful! I know I feel a bit more confident about the whole process now. I've even picked out the cutest Scotty Dog oilcloth below for the wipeable pinny. Isn't it great? For the second one I'd like to make a miniature version of Jan's pinny, so they can match when they play together!